Overall, the cruise was wonderful. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the port around 10:30 and were checked in and on the ship just after 11:00.
The ports were fabulous. We lucked out with near perfect weather every day, just a downpour or two in Antigua, but those didn't last long. I did ship's excursions in St. Thomas (Coastal Cruise to St. John), St. Croix (Panoramic Drive) and Martinique (Beach & Snorkeling).
All were great trips, but in the future I'd skip the coastal cruise excursion and just do the St. John on your own excursion instead. The coastal cruise didn't add much to the day.
The port in Martinique didn't have much to offer, but since I wasn't expecting much it wasn't a big deal. The snorkeling was nice and after the excursion was over I just walked into the little town and picked up a couple souvenirs before going back to the ship for the afternoon.
The panoramic drive in St. Croix was a good introduction to the island and More
the drive was quite scenic in parts.
We did independent excursions in Antigua and St. Lucia. Both days we spent at all inclusive beach resorts and enjoyed them both very much, the Coconut Beach Club in Antigua, and the Tikaye resort in St. Lucia. I'd recommend them both.
Our cabin, 9078, was extremely convenient to the Centrum. Don't book this cabin if you go to bed early (we don't) because the noise from the Centrum can be heard quite clearly when there is a party going on. I'd book it again in a heartbeat because I don't go to bed early on cruises.
The Cruise Director, Dennis Charles, and his Assistant, Elvis, were awesome! They were so energetic and very visible around the ship. There was a good variety of activities during the week. Highlights were The Quest, the Love & Marriage Show, the belly flop competition, and the 70's party.
The Senior Officers were some of the most visible I've seen on a ship. I had a chance to chat with the Staff Captain, the Hotel Director, the Chief Engineer, and the HR Director. All of them, plus the Captain, spent time signing t-shirts at the Walk for Wishes which was a first on any cruise I've done, and made a very positive impression.
The food was just so-so. The "new" menus don't seem to fit my taste as well as the old ones did. However, I didn't rate the cruise just four stars for dining just because of the food, but because of the service. The food was maybe 4 stars, but the service was about a 3.5. The wait staff in the dining room was slow, forgetful, and inattentive. They messed up dinner orders at least a couple times during the week, and forgot to ask if we wanted coffee after the meal. One evening we sat at the table for almost 15 minutes before we even got bread. It got to the point that one person at my table had a discussion with the head waiter about it.
Overall, the cruise was a wonderful, relaxing week. The Southern Caribbean ports have always been my favorite. The Radiance class of ships is still my favorite as well. The connection to the sea can really be felt with all the glass around the Centrum Less
Jewel of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
Our cabin, 9078, was extremely convenient to the Centrum. However, don't book this cabin if you go to bed early (we don't) because the noise from the Centrum can be heard quite clearly when there is a party going on. I'd book it again in a heartbeat because I don't go to bed early on cruises.The cabin has a huge balcony with two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, and a table. The bed was comfortable, and there was enough storage for the two of us.